The Truth About Big Ed And Rosemarie's Relationship

Big Ed and Rosemarie Vega were introduced to viewers in the fourth season of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 DaysAs is frequently the case with couples featured in the 90 Day Fiancé franchise, the pair didn't seem to have a lot in common. At the time, Ed was a 54-year-old photographer from San Diego, California whereas Rosemarie was a 23-year-old single mom from the Philippines. Yet after getting to know each other online, Ed was smitten, making the 7,000-mile journey to Rosemarie's homeland in order to meet her in person.

As viewers witnessed, it didn't take long for this long-distance love story to go off the rails once they got together face to face. Ed was suspicious of Rosemarie's motives as she, too, was wary of his. He made some comments she found to be insulting and demeaning and she was less than thrilled to find out about some of his lies. Still, their tumultuous relationship made them instant fan favorites. 

Viewers couldn't get enough of the memorable couple and their train-wreck romance and there's still a lot to unpack there. Read on to learn all about the truth about Big Ed and Rosemarie's relationship.

How Big Ed and Rosemarie met

Big Ed was scrolling through social media one day when he came upon Rosemarie's photo. He was immediately enchanted by her "beautiful eyes," he revealed in an interview with Fox News, and decided to add her to his list of friends. Out of the blue, the two started communicating, which led to some FaceTime chats and, eventually, Rosemarie sending him some photos of herself. 

"She would text me in the morning, ask me how I was, and by the time about two to three weeks went by, we were literally FaceTiming, I mean, three to four times a day," Ed explained. "So it's kind of cute. And I have never experienced anything like this in my life." Their online conversations became a regular thing, with the two engaging in video chats each morning until "she became the best part of my day, basically," Ed admitted.

When Ed finally travelled to the Philippines to shift their online relationship from the virtual realm to the physical world, he admitted the experience was "surreal." He continued, saying, "The anticipation, the excitement and the anxiety around that was just, it was a trip. It was a complete trip."

Why meeting Rosemarie was a "gut punch" to Big Ed

Big Ed was born with the rare skeletal disorder Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) in which two or more bones in the spine are fused together in an abnormal manner. For Ed, this resulted in a neck condition limiting his range of motion and resulting in his distinctive physical characteristics. As he explained in a YouTube video, in addition to having a "shorter than normal neck," the condition has left him with "a bigger than normal ribcage" and short stature.

During an appearance on Access Daily, Ed commented on footage that aired on 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days documenting the first time that he and Rosemarie first came face to face when she met him at the airport. That was when the first of his lies came back to bite him. She expressed her surprise at his height because, as he recalled, he had claimed they "were the same height." When her first reaction to meeting him was to complain that he was actually shorter than her, Ed was taken aback. "That was kind of a gut punch," he admitted. 

What Rosemarie told Big Ed that made him forget their age difference

The three-decade age difference could've been a big obstacle in the relationship of 90 Day FiancéBefore the 90 Days' Big Ed and Rosemarie. When they appeared on the show, he was 54 while she was just 23. In an interview with The Night Time Show podcastEd admitted that the age gap wasn't an issue for him. "I never thought of her as this young girl," he admitted. 

However, he was certainly apprehensive about how she would feel being in a relationship with someone so much older than her. At one point, early in their online relationship, Ed decided to lay it all out on the table. "The first conversation we had was, 'Look, Rose, I'm 54. I'm old enough to be your dad.' And she's like, 'Well you're actually one year older than my dad,'" he said. Assuming his age was a dealbreaker, he quickly shifted gears and suggested they keep their relationship in the friend zone and leave it at that. But then she said something that changed everything. "And she's like 'No, age is just a number,'" Ed recalled. "I'll never forget that. You know, age is just a number."

Big Ed had a habit of lying to Rosemarie

As viewers of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days witnessed while watching the story of Big Ed and Rosemarie unfold, he hadn't been entirely honest with her before they finally met in person. In addition to adding a few inches to his height, he also did not come clean about his thoughts on procreation. As the father of a 29-year-old daughter from his first marriage, Ed revealed to viewers that he had no intention of having another child. He did not, however, share that info with Rosemarie.

When it came to fathering more children, he told Fox News, "I wasn't ready to do that." Rosemarie, however, was upfront with Ed about her desire to have another child (she was already mother to a four-year-old son, Prince, from a previous relationship). "I wasn't completely honest with Rose," Ed admitted. 

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he said he had come around to realize that his dishonesty was the source of problems. "It's never a good idea to lie," he said. "You have to be honest, and I'm learning that. Even though you have strong feelings for someone, it's better to get it out in the open."

Big Ed wishes he'd handled this matter with Rosemarie differently

In a particularly memorable moment from 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, Big Ed asked Rosemarie for a "favor," requesting in the most excruciatingly awkward way possible that she take an STD test. As she listened to him stammer and dance around what he was trying to say, she finally responded — and not the way in which Ed had hoped. "I'm disappointed," she told him, adding she was "offended" by his lack of trust. In the subsequent confessional interview, she admitted she was "hurt" and felt her "heart crack." 

Even worse, Ed refused to be tested himself while in the Philippines. In an interview with South Africa's Channel24, Ed explained that he "wasn't comfortable with someone sticking a needle in my arm" in such a "desolate" part of a foreign country. In hindsight, he admitted he could have handled the whole thing a lot less clumsily and regretted not getting himself tested for STDs before embarking on his trip so he could show Rosemarie that he wasn't requesting she do anything he wouldn't. He ultimately did get an STD test when he returned to the U.S., telling Channel24, "I'm clean."

Big Ed's vasectomy secret hit Rosemarie hard

Rosemarie's desire to have another child did not jibe with Big Ed's insistence that he was done with parenthood, even though he never told her straight out that he didn't want to have more children. When Rosemarie confronted him, asking why he didn't tell her his feelings on children at the get-go, she also ran down a list of all his other lies and the various ways he made her feel belittled. "I think you [do] not love me," she told him.

The situation did not improve when Ed divulged to her that he scheduled an appointment to have a vasectomy — or, as he explained it, "a snip-snip." Rosemarie appeared devastated, reminding him that her "dream" is to have a second child. 

After he dropped the vasectomy bombshell, Ed was dismayed the following morning to discover Rosemarie had left. "When I woke up this morning, she was gone," he said in a clip from the show, admitting he felt both "confused" and "sad." Her exit also led him to realize he'd made a big assumption that "she wants to marry [him]" while he was trying to figure out whether Rose "was the one that [he] wanted." 

Big Ed was hit with backlash when he asked Rosemarie to shave her legs

One memorable moment from 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days occurred the morning after Big Ed and Rosemarie were intimate for the first time. In bed together, he asked for a kiss — which she refused, claiming his beard "hurt on me — ouch!" That led Ed to offer a bargain. "Okay, here's the deal," he told her. Pointing out that her legs "were kind of like mine, very hairy," he suggested, "If you shave your legs, I'll shave my beard."

Rosemarie initially balked, but acquiesced and shaved anyhow, prompting Ed to make good on his promise. Fans took to social media to slam Ed, including one Twitter user who wrote that he had a "lot of nerve" for someone with "no neck, lied about his height by 6 [inches] and uses mayo as a conditioner." Another person tweeted, "[Rosemarie] needs to tell him he ain't no George Clooney either." Yet another fan joked that he was "about to be thrown off the balcony."

Big Ed responded to the social media backlash by admitting to Us Weekly that he'd had a bad morning "because all of the haters came out."

Fans weren't happy when Big Ed "disrespected" Rosemarie

On 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, Big Ed gifted Rosemarie with some mouthwash, toothpaste, and "a cute toothbrush," informing her that her "breath is not pretty." Eek. Ed once again had egg on his face when she later informed him her halitosis was due to an ulcer, not poor dental hygiene.

Ed's insensitive comment led to even further backlash on Twitter. One person tweeted about Ed's endless gaffes, writing, "Watching Big Ed is like watching somebody slip on a banana peel over and over." Another tweeted, "Big Ed has no class" and yet another wrote, "What kind of a**hole does that?" Someone further slammed Ed, labeling him as "a rude and dirty little man."

So disgusted was Ed's fellow 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days star Ricky Reyes with the toothbrush incident, he called him out in a since-deleted social media post. "Big Ed, this s*** ain't funny," he wrote. "You just disrespected a woman who already allowed you to film her home and you showed NO class." 

Big Ed broke the news about his and Rosemarie's breakup

Considering all of the uncomfortable moments that were aired on TV, viewers of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days were left questioning the status of Big Ed and Rosemarie's relationship. In an interview with ET Canada in May 2020, Ed confirmed what anybody who watched the slow-motion train wreck unfold probably already suspected: They split. 

"We have parted ways, with a heavy heart," he admitted, indicating the split had taken place recently. "The breakup is so fresh that I'm just going to keep an open mind," he added, explaining the reason was simply that he and Rosemarie "wanted different things." Shouldering his share of the blame, Ed admitted that although he "was very concerned with her hygiene," he "obviously didn't handle that in the right way." Defending his lack of tact, Ed explained that he'd hadn't been in a relationship in a long time and "wasn't trying to be offensive in any way."

Rosemarie slammed Big Ed as a fame-hungry liar

Following the airing of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days' infamous toothbrush debacle, Rosemarie took to social media to share her thoughts on what viewers had just witnessed. In an Instagram Live video, (via Twitter), Rosemarie spoke her mind, addressing her comments directly at Big Ed. "How dare you embarrass me in front of [millions] of people?" she said. "Please people, don't believe him. He's fake." She continued, saying, "He doesn't really care about me. He just wants to be famous, that's why he's doing that."

After calling out Ed for using her in his pursuit of reality TV fame, she then moved on to calling him out for his fibbing. "All of the words that [come] out of his mouth are all lies," she declared. "He did not care about me, especially my son." Rosemarie also responded to allegations that she was only after Ed's money, denying she received anything from him. "He never gave me a penny," she said. "It's all lies."

Did Rosemarie really find love again after she and Big Ed split?

After Big Ed confirmed that it was all over between him and Rosemarie, things took an unexpected turn when a rumor began winding its way throughout social media. According to the claim, Rosemarie had gotten married to a woman. Ed responded to the unverified claims in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, admitting he had "no idea" whether there was any truth to the allegation. He was dubious about the veracity of that rumor, though, adding that "90 percent of the stuff I read online ... is not true."

Rosemarie herself addressed the rumor on Instagram. Responding to a comment asking point-blank whether it was true that she'd gotten engaged "to a female from your country," she issued a response, as documented by a screengrab shared on Reddit. "The rumor that I'm engaged to a woman is NOT TRUE," she wrote, adding the hashtag "#stopthelies."

Rosemarie's sister blasted Big Ed as a "scammer"

When Big Ed first met Rosemarie's family, as documented in 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, everyone seemed to hit it off. Apparently, though, that friendliness didn't last — at least when it came to Rosemarie's sister. As Soap Dirt reported, Rosemarie's sister, Mary Rose Vega, slammed Ed in a social media comment.

According to a rough translation offered by Soap Dirt, Rosemarie's sister accused Ed of running a "scam" or being a "scammer" and hoped for his death. "F*** you, Ed," she wrote in a response to one of his social media posts. Mary alleged that Ed "used [her] sibling just to make money," adding, "May you die and receive karma."

However, as viewers of the show will well recall, this was the same sister who texted Ed and asked him for money, leading him to become suspicious that Rosemarie was secretly pulling the strings and running a scam on him

How things ended up for Big Ed and Rosemarie

After his breakup with Rosemarie, Big Ed found himself in some hot water when a woman identifying herself with the handle Lordakeet shared a TikTok video featuring onscreen words reading, "I would like to introduce you to the man who sexually harassed and assaulted me." That was followed by video footage of Ed, indicating who she was accusing. Ed didn't offer a response to her allegations.

Meanwhile, Rosemarie had seemingly moved on since her breakup with the 90 Day Fiance star, taking to social media to share photos and videos of herself living her best life. In an Instagram post, she announced she would be launching her own YouTube channel. Along with videos of herself and her son attempting the "chubby bunny challenge" and paying a visit to her father's "piggy farm," she also posted a video introducing herself. In her first vlog, she opened up about such topics as her hobbies and favorite Bible verse. And, tellingly, there was no mention made of Big Ed. Rosemarie's YouTube venture seemed to be an instant hit. Her first video attracted more than three million views within a month of her uploading it.